Meticulous or Obsessed?

DZ commented on my previous post regarding an unfortunate use of an MLK quote.

There’s been a relatively unfortunate trend recently of idolizing the ridiculously obsessed. Obsessives, in some circles, equate automatically to quality and workmanship.

The problem here, I think, is that obsession becomes an easy stand in for meticulousness. It’s an understandable mistake to make, honestly. An artist or craftsman who is meticulous in the details of of their art or craft is generally obsessed; the focus of that obsession is however about something deeper than the number of icons on one’s desktop.

I don’t mean that a person’s obsessions are necessarily trivial—when John Gruber and Merlin Mann asked people to “pursue their obsessions in a serious way” I agreed with them along with most of the people in the world blogging. But to me, pursuing an obsession in a meaningful way means having some perspective.

Be meticulous in your pursuits—save obsession for the things that matter.